Rector's Column June 2016

 by The Rev. Dr. Jason Parkin, Rector

I have been reminded, this spring, of how closely our lives are interwoven and bound together in a lively, vibrant parish community such as Holy Comforter. By the time this issue of the newsletter arrives, we will have just come to the end of the Great 50 Days of Easter on the Feast of Pentecost, and celebrated Trinity Sunday. And during those 50+ days, Holy Comforter has seen-among many other events and developments, programs and meetings-the baptisms of new brothers and sisters into the household of God; two funerals of beloved, long-time parishioners, and the interment of the widow of a former Rector; the Easter People presentations; the regular Wednesday morning classes and the spring Inquirers' Classes; and Mother's Day/Youth Sunday, the celebration of our younger brothers and sisters. Plans continued for the Youth Group Mission Trip to West Virginia and the Adult Mission Trip to North Dakota. Several people journeyed to Rogers Park for our monthly participation in a food ministry. The Society of the Dove was formally inaugurated and recognized at a reception at the Rectory, and the organ restoration project was initiated. Two couples were united in Holy Matrimony. A large group of preschool JK parents and long-standing parishioners threw a party to get better acquainted. We hosted the annual Good News Partners lunch for affiliated congregations. Many parishioners attended a Flower Ministry workshop, and still others investigated Stephen Ministry and whether they are called to this form of service. We welcomed home a guest preacher and speaker, and celebrated a festive Spirituals and Gospel Music service. A new tree was planted on the parkway in memory of family members of one of our teachers, and the ATB&B drama class presented a musical. And throughout, we, as individuals and as a parish, celebrated birthdays and anniversaries, dealt with emotional challenges and health issues, polished chalices, visited our homebound brothers and sisters, gathered to worship God every morning. Each of these moments was unique, each experience precious and profound in its own way.

I mention all of this not to highlight the reality that this has been a busy spring. It has been. That's not the point. The issue is, rather, that we belong to one another. We are connected to one another in myriad, often invisible, frequently elusive ways. Each event, each episode described above, and all those left unmentioned, contributes to the fabric of our common life, and, thus, to the warp and woof of our individual lives. Is there any other place, any other dimension in our society or culture, where so many lives intersect in so many and such divergent ways; where we are nourished and challenged in similarly diverse fashion? And so, as this season comes to an end, rejoice that we are so much a part of each other, and that God has called us to walk and sing and laugh and cry and pray and work and grow with one another in this holy place.